SIDMOUTH 2nd XV  17  v  OTTERY XV  17


An early kick off enabled this annual Bank Holiday match to beat the worst of the weather and the result was a highly competitive and entertaining match, despite the wet conditions underfoot and overhead.


Ottery had a great scoring opportunity in the first minute after regaining possession from the kick off. Joe Briggs cut a good angle to take a short pass and burst through the centre. He was tackled as he dived for the line and lost possession before he could touch down.


Sidmouth gradually worked their way upfield and set up camp in the Ottery 22. Despite applying considerable pressure for ten minutes, they were unable to break down the determined defence.


Ottery eventually broke out with a long kick downfield. It was their turn to apply pressure and they eventually took the lead, when number eight Sam Dix forced his way over from a ruck near the line. Connor Down added the conversion.


Another period of Sidmouth pressure failed to produce a score and they would now be regretting not taking the opportunity to kick for goal as Ottery conceded a number of penalties.


A fine handling move sparked by a Connor down break set Ottery on the attack once again. They held territorial advantage until half time but could not add to their score.


The Quins started the second half strongly and, after the forwards had progressed the ball through several phases, good handling along the backs sent Adam West sprinting over in the left corner. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful.


A few minutes later, Sidmouth took the lead, when Tom Robbins intercepted on halfway and sprinted in under the posts. He also kicked the conversion.


Sidmouth were soon back on the attack and increased their lead when a tap penalty move caught the defence napping and Scott Harley darted over on the overlap for an unconverted try.


Ottery came back strongly in the final quarter and reduced the arrears, when Sam Olive finished off a good handling move. The try was unconverted.


In the final minutes, Ottery drew level when Haydon Down forced his way over from close range. The conversion attempt drifted wide leaving the scores level as the final whistle sounded.



Bideford RFC 2nd XV (10) v Sidmouth RFC 2nd XV (29)

On a dry yet overcast February afternoon Sidmouth made the long journey north to Bideford. The large pitch was in good condition considering the recent weather which benefited Sidmouth; as it gave the men in green the opportunity to play an expansive offloading style of play.
It didn’t take long for the expansive style to pay dividends. Quick handling and a succession of clean effective clear-outs at the breakdown involving both forwards and backs was eventually finished off by Ryan Davies; unfortunately, the conversion by Adam Squance was unsuccessful.
Squance was soon back in the thick of the action scoring an excellent solo try. The fly-half broke clear from near halfway and succeeded in evading the attention of five would be tacklers before dotting down under the posts. The conversion was a mere formality and opened up a twelve-point lead in as many minutes for the visitors.
Sidmouth were soon back on the attack and despite missing a few half chances quickly extended their lead by a further twelve points. The third try of the game went to Asa Unsworth who dived over in the left corner following a slick handling move and a spell of intense pressure; Squance couldn’t quite convert from near the touchline. The fourth and bonus point try was scored by centre Jake Watts; this time Squance was on target with his conversion.
The opening half hour had seen Sidmouth dominate both possession and territory and score four unanswered tries. The only area where Bideford had an advantage was at the scrum; their size and power on two occasions lead to stealing the ball on Sidmouth’s put-in. Late in the half Bideford used their scrummaging superiority to good effect, a solid centre field scrum in the Sidmouth 22 provided the platform for the Bideford backs to score in the right corner; the tricky conversion was missed. This left the half-time score at 5-24.
The opening stages of the second half were rather scrappy in more ways than one. Neither side could maintain a foothold territorially or via continued possession as both sides cancelled each other out; frustrations eventually boiled over and a minor bout of fisticuffs ensued allowing Bideford to take play into the Sidmouth 22. The home side set up camp deep in Sidmouth’s half of the field and stayed there for nearly 15 minutes. The Sidmouth defence held firm under sustained pressure but could not break free; a couple of missed penalty kicks to touch and decisions to run instead of kicking clear allowed Bideford to intensify their long spell of pressure. A second bout of fisticuffs and a constantly improving performance by the home side kept Sidmouth’s defence under pressure. The relentless pressure did eventually tell as the home side doubled their score; the outside centre touching down for an unconverted try. Sidmouth had been defending for the best part of 20-25 minutes by this stage so should be proud of their efforts as many sides would likely have conceded a try much sooner than that.
The Bideford supporters were starting to believe a comeback was on the cards but Sidmouth soon put pay to that notion following the restart. Sidmouth turned the ball over at a ruck near the Bideford 22 and following a few quick rucks Aaron Down broke free and scuttled over the line; Squance missed the conversion but the try had clearly deflated the believe of those supporting Bideford. The final five minutes of the game saw Sidmouth continue their expansive offloading style of play which had worked well throughout; unfortunately, on this occasion the gaps in the tired Bideford defence couldn’t be exploited fully. The final whistle was blown with the score line at 10-29 in favour of the travelling Sidmouth contingent.
Sidmouth were very good value for their victory. An excellent first half display of clinical attacking was backed up with an equally solid defensive effort; Bideford by their own admission had to work extremely hard for their 10 points which is a credit to the Sidmouth defence. There are a few minor points regarding decision making including when to run from deep which will need addressing, especially when against stronger and fitter opposition but in general Sidmouth should be very proud of their performance.


SIDMOUTH 2nd XV  19  v  CREDITON 2nd XV  25


Played in excellent conditions at Sidford between two young, uninhibited sides, this was a thoroughly entertaining and close-fought match.


The first 20 minutes proved to be the decisive period. During this time, play was confined exclusively to the Crediton half but Sidmouth failed to trouble the scoreboard. The Crediton defence was quite outstanding in both organisation and execution. The Quins got within a few metres of the line more than once but could not find a way to cross the whitewash.


So, it was very much against the run of play that Crediton took the lead on their first incursion into the Sidmouth half. Under pressure, the Sidmouth defence proved less watertight than the visitors and Crediton progressed the ball through several phases to the Sidmouth line, where the number eight powered his way over for an unconverted try.


Now full of confidence, Crediton soon added a second try, when the right winger finished of a handling move started in their own half. The try was converted.


On the half hour, the Quins eventually broke their duck. Breaks by Johnny Hamill and Harry Rumens took play to the Crediton line, where Aaron Down dived over from the base of a ruck. Tom Robbins added the conversion.


Crediton finished the half strongly and added a penalty in injury time to lead 15-7 at the break.


They increased their lead soon after the restart, when the left winger finished off a good handling move. The try was successfully converted.


Midway through the half, the Quins reduced the lead with a well-worked move around the front of a lineout just inside the Crediton 22. The ball was palmed forward to scrum half Rhys Davies, whose pass found hooker Sam Dix in support with a clear run to the line. The try was unconverted.


A period of Crediton pressure was rewarded with a penalty.


The Quins threw caution to the wind in the final minutes and produced some promising handling moves. Eventually, Tom Robbins found space on the blindside of a ruck just inside the Crediton half. He still had plenty to do and left two defenders in his wake on the way to the line. He added the conversion to set up an exciting finish, but the visitors held on for a deserved win.  




SIDMOUTH 2nd XV  19  v  TIVERTON 2nd XV  22


With the Blackmore Field waterlogged, the value of the re-laid pitches at Sidford was highlighted as this 2nd Team match went ahead in near perfect conditions.


The visitors won a close-fought contest thanks to a comeback inspired by an opportunist try in first half injury time.


With the breeze at their backs, the ‘Quins made a strong start and deservedly took an early lead, when Tom Osborne dummied his way over in the corner on the end of an excellent handling move. The try was unconverted.


Midway through the half the lead was extended from a lineout catch-and-drive play, when Aaron Down peeled off the driving maul to power his way over. Adam Squance added the conversion.


Tiverton came more into the game as the half progressed and, in the closing minutes of the half, were pressing inside the Sidmouth 22. An attempted clearance kick was charged down by a forward, who followed up to win the chase for the touchdown. The try was converted by the scrum half to make the halftime score 12-7.


Tiverton continued to dominate territory from the restart and were soon on level terms. After a period of pressure near the Sidmouth line, the tight head prop burst over from ten metres out on the blindside of a ruck. The try was unconverted.


The visitors were soon back on the attack and Dan Rugg did well to get his body under a Tiverton player, preventing a touchdown, as he tackled him over the try-line. However, the pressure eventually told when the scrum half finished off a move on the blindside of a ruck inside the 22. He also added the conversion from wide out. He then kicked a penalty to open up a ten-point gap with five minutes to play.


The ‘Quins showed good spirit to finish the game strongly. They closed the gap with a try by Mark Unsworth under the posts from a quickly taken tap penalty. Adam Squance converted to set up a tense closing few minutes but the visitors held on until the final whistle.




Withycombe 5   Sidmouth Quins 80   

Following on from fine wins away at Honiton and at home to South Molton,  Sidmouth Quins carried momentum forward to Withycombe, running out convincing winners 80 points to 5.

From the outset Sidmouth showed it had the pace and guile in the backs to cause mayhem at will and it was in the first few minutes that flanker Matt James went over for the first of fourteen tries. Centre and skipper Giles Dixon led the team from the front scoring two uncoverted tries in quick succession.

Next Flyhalf Will Dunford dummied his way over scoring under the posts which he then converted.

Early injuries caused disruption to both sides with Withycombe suffering in the backs and Sidmouth in the forwards losing two, unfortunately with only backs on the bench as cover. Withycombe to their credit were never going to capitulate showing enterprise willing to run the ball at every opportunity.

Right wing Mark Oke profited from a long miss pass in the centre to dart over in the corner, Centre Jake Watts rounded off the first half with another well worked unconverted try.

Half Time 32 Nil

 With such a positive score line keeping the concentration going was always going to be difficult but virtually from the restart  bustling dynamic prop Arron Down went over in the corner.

Ex Sidmouth wing Ben West with his pace proved to be Withycombe’s most potent threat, it was his 50 metre run up field and offload which resulted in a deserved try under the posts, the missed conversion summing up their day.

Sidmouth kept the scoreboard ticking over with a third try for Giles Dixon, a second for Jake Watts, Mark Oke and Arron Down.

Johnny Hamill got in on the act joining the line from fullback making the extra man to score wide out, but it was young legs that had the final say, hooker Luke Dix showing his fitness outpacing the defence and his own support to score two late tries both from 40 metres out.

Tom Robbins after some kicking practise got his eye in converting the last four tries, one from the touchline.